Blog Posts

Blockathon 2016: The winning teams and their prizes

Following the success of the Blockathon, we caught up with each team and found out a bit more about what the results of two days of intense coding, looked like and what prizes they won.

Project: OpenReference

*The problem being addressed:*

When you are renting a new flat a landlord will ask for your tenancy history. When you are trying to get a new job, the employer will ask you for a proof of your university records and list of your achievements from previous positions. When You are hiring a new nanny probably the first thing to do is review her recommendations from previous jobs. References, paper documents stating our experience and qualifications, are widely used almost everywhere. But can they be trusted?

Independent studies show that 23% of people put white lies in their CV identifying mere college attendance as obtaining a grade or exaggerating their managerial experience. The current solution to lack of credibility is verification process done manually, mostly over phone. It is not only costly and time consuming but also frustrating to all of parties included.

We believe that using modern technologies such a blockchain to store digital fingerprints of reference documents can reduce that pain caused by obsolete verification process and allow all of to easily keep and check all of the referenced with respect to safety and privacy.

*The tech used to implement the solution:*

The frontend was written in AngularJS and Bootstrap CSS.
The business logic was implemented in Node.js server using Express framework and blockchain integration was done with the help of open source bitcoin-js library. Mongo database was used for data persistence. We recommend MEAN stack as a great composition for hackathons as it allows for fast prototyping.

*How much was built over the weekend:*

We managed to prepare a working prototype showing the process of reference uploading, signing and verification.

*What were the ups and downs:*

We enjoyed a really warm reception not only by jury but most important from all the attendees.
It proves that it is a real life problem and people are waiting for a better solution to be able to easily verify references.

Project: DAOgalise

*The problem being addressed:*

The difficulty for a decentralised company to build momentum with many founders/participants collaborating in a decentralised manner. The challenges and uncertainties to fund a decentralised organisation/company (from the perspective of founders, investors, accelerators, contractors, government institutions).The administrative burden with starting a decentralised organisation/company that comes from an ambiguous legal & accounting framework around decentralised organisations.

*The tech used to implement the solution:*

Ethereum smart contracts are implemented in the Solidity language, we used mainly the truffle IDE for coding
On the UI side is AngularJS + web3.js for the communication with the local Ethereum node
The Go ethereum client (Geth) was used to configure private ethereum nodes that enabled us to test as we did the development

*How much was built over the weekend:*

We build the business case, business model, prototype user interface and we experimented writing smart contracts for some of the main features. The UI was connected to the local Ethereum node.

*What were the ups and downs:*

We got Dean to play a financial regulator as a polar bear
Brainstorming took ages!

Project: Accountable

*The problem being addressed:*

Politicians often break their campaign promises, because they lack incentives to keep them. The "Accountable" team decided to tackle this problem by building blockchain powered incentives on top of the amazing work done by political watchdogs like PolitiFact, who track pledges made by political candidates.

*The tech used to implement the solution:*

We used Ethereum contracts to collect funds that politicians only have access to if they keep their promises. Citizens can send donations to the "promise" contracts, which are then transferred to the politicians' reelection campaign funds if/when PolitiFact rules that they have delivered on the promises. The funds are returned to the citizens otherwise. To do this, we used the PolitFact API as an oracle, secured by Oraclize.

*How much was built over the weekend:*

We built the basic "Promise" contracts.

*What were the ups and downs:*

We had some setbacks when we realised that the PolitiFact API was in fact not secure enough to ensure that the rulings are not tampered with. We also need to think through more carefully how we can avoid special interest groups flooding the promise contracts with funds that would skew the politicians' priorities. Overall, it was a fantastic learning and collaboration experience with a great passionate team.

Project: Hidentify

For an in-depth look at the Hidentify project, click here. 

Project: TreasureHunt

For an in-depth look at th TresureHunt project, Blockathon

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